I was in a hurry the other night and didn’t have much time to prepare dinner, so I went through what was available in the freezer and pantry and decided to make beef and noodles. I had some really nice Amish-made wide egg noodles, and I knew the stew meat I had would turn out super tender if I used the pressure cooker. But I didn’t have any beef stock in the house. I knew I wanted to have a tasty beef gravy to pour over the cooked noodles. A little more rummaging through the pantry found some home-canned tomato juice and a individual-sized bottle of Merlot, both of which are perfect to cook beef in.
I did cook the noodles separately from the stew meat. I have yet to cook pasta in my Instant Pot, and I’ll get there someday, but these were such nice noodles, and I didn’t want them to get all mushy by overcooking them under pressure along with the meat, which was still partially frozen. After cooking the noodles separately and finishing the gravy for the meat, everything went back into the Instant Pot to keep warm and let the noodles soak up some of the sauce. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good meal.
Beef and Noodles
2 pounds beef stew meat
4 ounces Merlot or other dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato juice
1 cup water or beef stock
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
One bay leaf
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Milk or cream
Cooked egg noodles
Drizzle some olive oil in the Instant Pot, and select the Sauté function. Season the stew meat with garlic powder and black pepper, and add the stew meat to the Instant Pot. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned. Add the wine, tomato juice, water or beef stock, and the bay leaf to the pot. Secure the lid, and select the Beef/Meat function, setting the cooking time to 40 minutes at high pressure. Make sure to close the vent.
When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot. Let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to let out the rest of the pressure.
Remove the bay leaf and the beef with a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.
Select the Sauté function. In a coffee cup, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and enough milk or cream to completely dissolve the cornstarch and make a slurry. Stir to completely combine. Add the slurry to the liquid still in the Instant Pot, and cook until it reaches a gravy consistency. Carefully taste the gravy (it will be hot!), and add additional salt and/or pepper if needed. Add the beef pieces back to the pot along with the cooked egg noodles. Stir everything to combine well. Can select the Keep Warm function if you like or serve immediately.